Residents meet at monument

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Two years ago James Hull stood on the lawn of the Lee County Courthouse, overwhelmed by the site of the first civil rights monument on a Mississippi courthouse lawn.
Saturday he stood in almost the same spot and expressed the same feeling he did in March 2009 when the massive monument remembering Lee County’s civil rights leaders was unveiled. A few dozen people joined him for the second annual Meet at the Monument event to celebrate the monument’s placement. Sponsored by the Coaltion4Change, Hull said every anniversary of the monument represents history.
“This monument is a part of Lee County’s history and its future,” said Hull. “It’s to remember and to help people remember the sacrifices made by so many people in Lee County during the civil rights movement. This honors all the people who had to go through hardships, who were intimidated and who stood up to fight for equality.”
The crowd was a lot larger on that spring day two years ago but the message Saturday was the same.
Justice Court Judge Ricky Thompson attended the ceremony in 2009 when the monument was unveiled and was at Saturday’s event. He said the children and younger generation are the real beneficiaries of the monument.
“Never forget,” said Thompson. “That is my message to the young people and that’s what this monument represents. Remembering those who sacrificed their well-being in order to make things better for everyone.”
Hull said he is planning to meet every year at the monument.
“We feel this event is an important one,” said Hull. “This monument is for Lee County and nowhere else. Everyone should be proud of it. It honors our residents.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@journalinc.com.